The annual awards took place at Summer Place in Hyde Park in Gauteng on Friday, 18 August 2017. The luncheon was attended by the shortlist of finalists, as well as the judges, which included Advocate Thuli Madonsela and Santam executive head of people and transformation, Jeanett Modise; media entrepreneur and international speaker, Jo-Ann Strauss; jewellery designer and businesswoman, Kirsten Goss and FairLady editor, Suzy Brokensha.
The FairLady Women of the Future 2017 winner, Tiffini Wissing Hein, owner of Old School Cool, shared the following advice to other women who are thinking of starting a business – do it. “Don’t listen to the naysayers. Pursue what will allow you to indulge yourself, your family and passion. When I started, I wanted a business where I could govern my working hours that could sustain itself in my absence, so that I could balance my work and family life,” says Wissing Hein.
The business also employs and empowers women. “I believe in the power of women. Today, we are 40 women in total, all of whom we have trained, upskilled and empowered.”
Her biggest challenge has been access to finance and a lack of credit. “We have had to purchase vehicles the traditional way as a result.” She says winning the award will allow her to pay off some of her vehicles and give the business a much-needed cash injection.
As the 2017 FairLady Women of the Future winner, Wissing Hein receives R50,000 in cash; a mentoring session with one of the judges, a Sisley beauty hamper, worth R8,797; a Miladys’ fashion voucher, worth R5,000; a GetSmarter local online course, worth R15,000; a Michel Herbelin watch, worth R10,500; business luggage from Delsey, worth R5,000; and a Lenovo 2-in-1 Laptop (Wi-Fi) from Makro, worth R3,999.
Anele Mkuzo-Magape, founder of the African Entrepreneurship Initiative, was named the FairLady Women of the Future Rising Star. She advised the audience: “Just start and be curious.”
Mkuzo-Magape’s parents inspired her to begin the African Entrepreneurship Initiative to help young people, so it was fitting that her mother was at the awards and the first to congratulate her when she was named this year’s Rising Star.
The African Entrepreneurship Initiative is a consulting service that allows the youth of our country to access financial literacy and entrepreneurship education. Through several customised training programmes, tailored personal development, business coaching and mentorships, struggling entrepreneurs can get the support they need to succeed.
“We get corporates and government to sponsor the initiatives so that young people can access the services for free. We help young people in peri urban areas and deliver content in different languages through translators,” explained Mkuzo-Magape.
Her FairLady Rising Star 2017 title comes with R20,000 in cash; a mentoring session with one of the judges; a Sisley beauty hamper, worth R5,465; a Miladys’ fashion voucher, worth R5,000; a GetSmarter local online course, worth R15,000; a Michel Herbelin watch, worth R10,500; business luggage from Delsey, worth R5,000; and a Lenovo 2-in-1 Laptop (Wi-Fi) from Makro, worth R3,999.
The Awards are held in partnership with Santam. Modise told the finalists and audience that all the entrants are exceptional. “They all have one characteristic in common – their businesses do not just benefit their founders and employees; they deliver benefits beyond that.”
That’s important as SMME are one of the most important parts of the economy, and make up 40% of the GDP of the economy. In fact, 8-million active SMMEs are needed to achieve 11-million jobs by 2030.
Modise further emphasised that importance of small and medium businesses to the country as follows:
Research has shown that if a business can make it over 1,000 days, it will succeed. We want to help businesses achieve this, but working with them from the early days, as this is when they face the most challenges.Follow the FairLady Women of the Future Awards hashtag on Twitter for the latest updates and read up on the winners in the latest issue of FairLady magazine, on sale from today, 21 August 2017.